To Go Out, Or Not To Go Out

A graph provided from Pew Research Center indicates that about 83% of teens hangout at school, 58% at somebodys house, and 23% at coffee shops/stores.

A graph provided from Pew Research Center indicates that about 83% of teens hangout at school, 58% at somebody’s house, and 23% at coffee shops/stores.

The majority of students can agree that most of their friendships are with people they met in a school setting. Relationships are also commonly formed through sports teams, employment, and clubs. But, how are these relationships preserved outside of an eight-hour school day? Or a two-hour long basketball practice? Social media and texting are the most common ways teenagers stay in touch. According to a Forbes article, More Than 1 in 3 Teens Say Snapchat is Their Favorite Social Media App, Only 2% Cite Facebook, Survey Finds , “Some 35% of respondents (out of 10,000) said Snapchat is their favorite app … Snapchat users check the app 30 times daily on average” (Beer). Snapchat’s mission statement on its page exclaims that the app is, “the easiest and fastest way to communicate the full range of emotions with your friends without pressure to be popular, pretty, or perfect” (Snap Inc.). Therefore, the design of Snapchat creates an extremely convenient and comfortable way for teenagers to stay in contact through their devices. Along with the admiration of Snapchat, texting is also another one of the most popular ways high schoolers talk with friends. As expressed in the article, How Adolescents Use Text Messaging Through Their High School Years, written by the National Library of Medicine, “Adolescents frequently exchange text messages with peers they know in their offline lives; 88% of adolescents text friends at least occasionally and 55% report texting friends daily” (Lenhart). Other popular methods of online communication include video calls and direct messaging. 

When teenagers aren’t lost in the world of phones, what else is there to do? There are countless activities that adolescents can do with their friends to hangout. This includes going on drives, staying in and watching movies, or strolling around neighboring towns. A graph provided from Pew Research Center indicates that about 83% of teens hangout at school, 58% at somebody’s house, and 23% at coffee shops/stores. According to Wired Magazine, around 71% of high school seniors have their driver’s license. This milestone for teenagers makes it easier to partake in such activities. It is also common for students to drive and meet to eat lunch together after school. Some other places that attract teenagers are Somerville, Lambertville, and New Hope in Pennsylvania. These gorgeous towns are filled with lively restaurants, arcades, boutiques, and picturesque scenery for everyone to enjoy. Give each place a quick search, and you will be met with countless events and activities to explore.

Furthermore, there are a few popular attractions created for teens to safely have fun together. When adults go out with their groups, what’s left for teenagers to do? In some areas, there are events where high schoolers can dance that are safe and exciting. Taken from this New Jersey Leisure Guide, there are several local dance clubs and party venues made available for teenagers to go out with their friends. These establishments are heavily supervised with strict rules against underage drinking and smoking. Moreover, these social gatherings also hold the opportunity for adolescents to meet others of the same age and similar interests. 

So, what do teenagers do for fun? How do they use online platforms and smartphones to maintain their relationships? Going on roadtrips, shopping, going out to dinner, are all popular ways we as teenagers spend time together. Or, simply just relaxing at your best friend’s house to watch a television show and bake cookies. It is important to go out every once in a while and take a break from the ongoing stress of high school and work. So, next time you’re making plans with friends, consider branching out and trying something new.